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Grave Surprise (Harper Connelly Mysteries, Book 2) Mass Market Paperback – September 25, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
At the start of Harris's winning second supernatural caper to feature Harper Connelly (after 2005's Grave Sight), a skeptical anthropology professor, Clyde Nunley, tests Harper's gift of clairvoyance in a historic Memphis cemetery, where Harper correctly senses a fresh corpse in the wrong grave. Strangely, the body turns out to be a missing 12-year-old girl, Tabitha Morgenstern, whom Harper failed to locate in Nashville on a case two years earlier. The hotel suite of Harper and her manager and stepbrother, Tolliver Lang, both of whom fall under suspicion, becomes a magnet for a medley of amusing characters, including Memphis cops, Tabitha's assorted relatives and a drunken Clyde Nunley, who, shortly after accusing Harper of fraud, is found dead in the same grave as Tabitha. Peppered with the author's trademark deadpan wit, this book should help make Harper and Tolliver as popular as Sookie Stackhouse, the heroine of Harris's vampire mystery series (Definitely Dead, etc.). Author tour. (Sept. 26)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
After Harper Connelly was struck by lightning as a teenager, she developed an unusual ability--she is able to locate bodies and see how the victims died, although she cannot identify the murderers. Harper and her stepbrother, Tolliver Lang, are at Bingham College doing a demonstration for a class, identifying bodies and causes of death in an old graveyard, when Harper finds the body of Tabitha Morgenstern, a kidnapped young girl she had failed to locate months ago. To clear their names--the police consider Harper and Tolliver suspects in the crime--they set out to find the real killer. Harper and Tolliver are likable, well-developed characters whose unhappy past binds them together as they care for one another and work together. Harper craves normalcy as she wonders whether her talent is a gift or a curse. The supernatural elements are integrated believably into the plot in this engrossing mystery, the second in a series. Sue O'Brien
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
This novel starts with Harper doing a demonstration in front of a college class. The professor hopes to debunk her "gift", but is shocked when she gives a remarkable demonstration at a local cemetery. Even more remarkable, though, is that she finds two bodies in one gravesite -- one belonging to a victim Harper had tried unsuccessfully to find 18 months earlier. The police are skeptical and believe she must have had something to do with the murder, and her brother/manager is having troubles of hi own, as an ex-lover complicates their stay in town.
Fun read, good mystery.
When Harper Connelly was a young girl she was struck by lightning. Since the lightning strike there are several oddities that are now a normal part of her life; weakness in one of her legs, a spider web pattern on her leg, headaches and oh yeah, she can locate dead people. If Harper is in a reasonable distance of a corpse she can find its exact location and see the deceased's final moments.
Harper and her stepbrother, Tolliver, travel to Memphis to hold a demonstration of her talents at a very old cemetery whose records have just been located. Professor Nunley brings her out there thinking to prove her a charlatan in front of his class, only to have Harper accurately name the deceased and their causes of death. When she stumbles on a recent burial of a young girl, the professor thinks he has won. But, of course, Harper is right and memories of a case she wasn't able to solve come flooding back when she knows she finally found the poor girls body.
Harper and Tolliver are then the center of a media storm as Harpers gift is scrutinized and the search for the killer begins...
I admit to being a little put off by the unusually close relationship Harper and Tolliver seem to share. I don't know why, maybe it's because I have a brother and if he did half the things that Tolliver does, I'd scream, flee, then vomit... and I am sure the feeling is mutual. During the first book, Grave Sight (Harper Connelly Mysteries, Book 1), I had to repeat "they are step siblings; there is no blood between them." I think half way through this book I finally got over it. Halfway through this book I began to see beyond the "step" label and just see two people who share an intense past and who love and care for one another, deeply.
This was a great follow up to Grave Sight (Harper Connelly Mysteries, Book 1). I was pleased to find the mystery a little more challenging then the first one and found myself flip flopping through the list of suspects. I thought the characters gave the reader an interesting mix of feelings, often times both sympathy and suspect. I already ordered the third book, An Ice Cold Grave (Harper Connelly Mysteries, Book 3), and then went on Charlaine Harris's web site to see when I might be able to get the fourth book. It's safe to say, I am hooked!